Marriage certificates are one of the most versatile official documents existing. Much like birth certificates, the information they contain can be useful to carry out many types of procedures. Although surely the most enjoyable of them is the one that originates it: getting married!
What is a marriage certificate and why is it important?
A marriage certificate is a civil document issued by a Register Office to record that two people are legally married. Marriage certificates usually detail the name and surnames of the spouses, their age, occupation and civil status, and the place and date of the marriage.
How do I get my marriage certificate?
In the UK you can get a copy of your marriage certificate from the General Register Office, either online or in person, or from the local register office where your marriage was registered. In Scotland, you can also obtain your marriage certificate through National Records of Scotland.
If you got married abroad and need to register your marriage in the UK, you would have had your marriage certificate issued by the civil registry or equivalent body to the General Register Office in that country. This body should be able to provide you with a copy that you can then translate and certify for use in the UK.
When is a marriage certificate required?
A marriage certificate can be used for several procedures. The most common ones include:
- To legally change your name after getting married
- To update your name in your bank accounts, national insurance and ID cards
- To join spousal benefits
- To apply for some immigration visas
- To buy a property or apply for a loan
Translating your marriage certificate
Certified translations of marriage certificates are typically required in the UK when the marriage certificate is in a language other than English. A certified translation of a UK marriage certificate can also be requested by overseas authorities - for instance, if you intend to buy a property in the south of France.
Many countries issue multilingual marriage certificates for their citizens’ most common destinations. Our tip is to always request them when possible but if they don’t have it in the right language combination, or it takes too long to get issued, we will be happy to get you a quick certified translation. The cost will typically range from £30-£60 and you can choose from our wide language offering at no extra cost.